Once again it is the Greeks who have dominated the sale and purchase markets in 2018. The latest world fleet update from Clarkson Research Services shows worldwide 1,653 vessels of a combined 49.4m gt have been sold on the secondhand markets in the year to date. This represents a 7% decrease in gross tonnage terms over 2017’s record figure.
“Greek owners have been the most active buyers and sellers of tonnage in the year to date, purchasing a reported 284 units of a combined 14.8m gt and selling 216 units of a combined 10.6m gt,” Clarkson noted.
The Greek fleet remains the world’s largest with 5,555 vessels at an average age of 14.9 years worth a total of $104.5bn. The Greek fleet today stands at 223.1m gt, up from 2017’s total of 216.6m gt.
Another broker, Intermodal, notes the sudden rallying numbers of Greek tanker plays. As the tanker market bottomed out the Greeks have rushed to secure cheap tonnage. Intermodal noted in its most recent weekly report how Greek owners have bought in the past six weeks 24 tanker vessels, which represents 28% of all the tanker vessels they have bought in 2018 so far.
Intermodal also provided a useful chart (carried below) of this year’s S&P, newbuild and demolition activity to date, which shows tankers and gas ships have changed hands far more this year than in 2017.